Government urged to abolish witches’ camps
Dr Prosper Yao Dzamepe, a policy expert, on Friday called on government to as a matter of urgency abolish all witches camps in the country.
He said this was because the continuous existence of such camps contradicted the laws of the country.
Dr Dzamepe made the call at a day’s workshop on “Building bridges of cultural practices that violates the rights of women,” in Ho.
The workshop, organized by Royal Care and Support (ROCAS), a non governmental organization with support from the Commonwealth Foundation, attracted traditional authorities, security officers and some opinion leaders.
Dr Dzamepe also called on the government to prepare “good enough packages” for owners of Trokosi shrines and abolish such places so the country could make gains in achieving Millennium Development Goal (MDG) One, which focuses on eradicating extreme poverty and hunger.
He said a large number of women in the country were vulnerable socially and economically because of such cultural practices and underscored the need to abolish such cultural practices to mitigate the trend of poverty and violation that women in the country suffer.
On the issue of witches’ camps in the northern region, Dr. Dzamepe queried whether there were no wizards in those communities and why the focus was only on women and urged the government and traditional authorities and women groups to lead the campaign and not just look on.
He said, “A liberated woman is a light to an entire generation, her family, community, her nation and humanity at large” and urged the government to enforce to the letter all laws that prohibited the violations of women’s rights in the country.
Mama Attratoh II, Queen of Ho-Dome, said it was time to stop using women as compensation for wrongs committed by men.
She said violations against women were criminal and urged the government to use force to stop cultural practices that violated the rights of women if persuasions failed.
Deputy Commissioner of Police David Nenyi Ampah-Bennin, the Volta Regional Police Commander, appealed to traditional authorities to encourage people to report all abuses to the Police for appropriate actions to be taken and desist from trying to resolve abuses and rights violations in the house.
Togbe Kwami Akoto V, Chief of Tanyigbe Anyigbe and Executive President of ROCAS, appealed to traditional authorities to help fight against abuses against women in the communities.
“As custodians of the land, you are better placed to help liberate our women and empower them to develop our communities,” he said.